I had initially planned to go to Saint-Sauveur on Saturday but the anticipated night skiing didn't happen due to the weather. So I headed up on Sunday afternoon, arriving around 3:30 to the beginning of sunset. Some people were still arriving and some were leaving and mentioned it was pretty icy, which wasn't surprising given last week's rain. I got ready and headed to L'Etoile, currently the only running chairlift serving the 70 Ouest. What a difference a week makes - compared to the previous week's coverage of natural snow, the Nordique was almost bare all the way up, with just a few snowy patches remaining. The 70 Ouest itself had corn in some spots but for the most part was thin cover over ice, with some short sections of only ice. Sharp edges were useful here! The snowpark also changed as the pipe was out and only the rail remained, but people were still lined up to ride it. The top section of the bottom pitch was pretty bald and even had tall grass poking through in spots - definitely a good day for rock skis. Still, there was just enough coverage that you could avoid the ice by making tight turns to the base....and then do it all over again. Definitely got a few careful descents in and met a lot of happy people out for the first time this season.
Nordique bottom has melted
Nordique top is looking bare.
The 70 West shrank a little bit at the top.
Sunset looking towards La Plagne.
I don't think this is going to open for a while....
On 70 Ouest mid hill looking up.
On 70 Ouest looking downhill on the last run of the day.
Obligatory chairlift self-portrait.
Sommet Saint-Sauveur surprised with an early opening Friday, but it wasn't until Saturday evening that I was able to head up, and it seems as though I picked the perfect time! As I started walking to the car with all my gear, heavy and wet flurries were falling from the sky. So much so that I had to turn back to rescue my balcony herbs from certain death! I got on the road just after 6:30 and was cruising along steadily in the storm when I realized how slick the roads were as there were no salt trucks up and running. It ended up being a rather slow drive, and I pulled into the parking lot just after 7:30 for the first night ski of the season. I picked up my Passe Parfait, and headed to l'Etoile for a ride in the falling snow -- it was really coming down!
The snowmaking of the previous week has made a nice solid base, and the amount of snow coming down kept a fresh layer of powder on the 70 Ouest, the only run currently open. I thought for sure my skis would stick to the heavy, wet, snow but it was just cold enough that conditions were slick. The coverage was pretty consistent with a few icy spots just under the surface, and I was thrilled to arrive at the bottom pitch to see the moguls that had already formed from just a day of skiing!
On my last run, I took my time and the snow started to taper off. As I arrived at the bottom, I kept going, and going...suddenly realizing I'd almost made it to the parking lot. And that the the snow was just thinly covering the concrete on the path beneath with my skis just grazing it.
It was a short and sweet night, but a good one - the first powder of the year! I headed home for a delicious apres-ski of homemade mac n cheese & jerk chicken, and to get ready to do it all again on Sunday!
Riding up l'Etoile, just look at that powder!
Second ride up l'Etoile, you can see the thin coverage on bottom. I don't think they've been making snow on this one, it looks like natural coverage but is coming along nicely tonight.
Nordique near the top.
The Snoprk already has two features set up, a box and a pipe.
I caught this guy as he went over the box.
Look at those moguls and that snow coming down!!
Last run of the evening, and the snow is tapering off.
Looking back up the 70 Ouest from the bottom!
I glided towards the parking lot until things got scrapey!
It was a quick night but the perfect first night skiing of the season!